By CHAD KITUNDU and AGENCIES
Explosions and bullets rang the air during a daring cash-in-transit where a group of robbers bombed two cash vans in a South African highway.
According to police, the group of more than 10 gangsters were armed with high calibre firearms and rifles. Seven robbers were arrested and a getaway vehicle and a rifle have been recovered.
At least seven bags full of bank notes were spared during the daring cash-in-transit.
Police still don’t know how many bags of cash the robbers offloaded from the vans into their getaway vehicles.
“They managed to leave about seven bags behind and there are some notes left spread around the bombed vans,” said a police source on the scene.
The robbers had been travelling in several vehicles which included an SUV and BMW 5 Series when they cornered the cash vans on Thursday morning.
EXCHANGE OF FIRE
Shots were exchanged between the robbers and the security guards. The exchange of fire was recorded and posted on social media by onlookers. One security guard was injured.
“Several shots were fired before the vans were bombed and undisclosed sum of money was taken. One of the guards was shot in the leg and sustained minor injuries and the other guard sustained head injuries. They have been taken to the hospital for treatment,” SAPS Provincial spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said in a statement.
Police managed to arrest seven suspects and they believe the arrested suspects may be linked to other cash heist and violent crimes.
Local news channels claim that that one of the seven men arrested is a police officer.
A source within the police initially told News24 on Thursday evening that an officer was arrested.
ON THE RUN
At the time, SA police spokesperson could not confirm that information. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s Moses Dlamini told News24 that they would not know until the matter was reported.
“This is purely a police investigation. Most of the suspects are civilians,” Dlamini said.
After the robbery, the scene was littered with debris and at least eight people were injured.
A police helicopter was used to track down five of the men and also recovered two vehicles, a R4 rifle and some of the money.
Other suspects are still on the run and police have launched a high intensive operation to look for more possible suspects at the George Goch Hostel.